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Are you acquainted with the difference,
That holds this present question in the Court ?

Por. I am informed throughly of the case.
Which is the merchant here? and which the Jew?

Duke. Anthonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Por. Is your name Shylock ?
Shy. Shylock is my name.

Por. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow ;
Yet in such rule, that the Venetian law
Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed.
You stand within his danger, do you not ?

[To Anth.
Ant. Ay, so he says.
Por. Do


confess the bond ?
Ant. I do.
Por. Then must the Jew be merciful.
Shy. On what compulfion muft I ? tell me that.

Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heav'n
Upon the place beneath. It is twice bless’d;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.
"Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his Crown:
His fcepter fhews the force of temporal pow'r,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth fit the dread and fear of Kings ;
But mercy is above this scepter'd sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of Kings ;
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then shew likest God's,
When mercy feasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Tho' justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy;
And that fame pray'r doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which, if thou follow, this strict Court of Venice
Muit needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.

Shy. My deeds upon my head! I crave the law,
The penalty and forfeit of my bond.


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Por. Is he not able to discharge the mony?
Bal. Yes, here I tender it for him in the Court,
Yea, twice the sum; if that will not suffice,
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart.
If this will not suffice, it must appear
That malice bears down truth.

And I beseech you,
Wrest once the law to your authority.
To do a great right, do a little wrong;
And curb this cruel devil of his will.

Por. It must not be; there is no pow'r in Venice,
Can alter a decree established.
'Twill be recorded for a precedent;
And many an error, by the fame example,
Will rush into the state. It cannot be.

Shy. A Daniel come to judgment ! yea, a Daniel. O wise young judge, how do I honour thee!

pray you, let me


the bond.
Shy. Here'tis, most rev'rend Doctor, here it is.
Por. Shylock, there's thrice thy mony offer'd thee.

Shy. An oath, an oath, I have an oach in heav'n,
Shall I lay perjury upon my soul?
No, not for Venice.

Por. Why, this bond is forfeit ;
And lawfully by this the Jew may claim
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
Nearest the merchant's heart. Be merciful,
Take thrice thy mony, bid me tear the bond.

Shy. When it is paid according to the tenour.
It doth appear, you are a worthy judge ;
You know the law: your exposition
Hath been most sound. I charge you by the law,
Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar,
Proceed to judgment. By my soul I swear,
There is no power in the tongue
To alter me. I stay here on my bond.

Ant. Most heartily I do beseech the Court
To give the judgment.

Por. Why, then thus it is :
You must prepare your bosom for his knife.


of man


Sby. O noble judge! O excellent young man !

Por. For the intent and purpose of the law
Hath full relation to the penalty,
Which here appeareth due upon the bond.
Shy. 'Tis very true.

O wise and upright judge,
How much more elder art thou than thy looks !

Por. Therefore lay bare your bosom.

Shy. Ay, his breast;
So says the bond, doth it not, noble judge ?
Neareft his heart, those are the very words.

Por. It is so. Are there scales, to weigh the flesh?
Shy. I have them ready.

Pór. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge, To stop his wounds, leit he should bleed to death.

Shy. Is it so nominated in the bond ?

Por. It is not so express'd ; but what of that? "Twere good, you do so much for charity.

Shy. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.
Por. Come, merchant, have you any thing to say?

Ant. But little : I am arm’d, and well prepar'd.
Give me your hand, Baffanio, fare you well!
Grieve not, that I am fall’n to this for you :
For herein fortune shews herself more kind,
Than is her custom. It is still her use,
To let the wretched man out-live his wealth,
To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow,
An age of poverty : From which ling’ring penance
Of such a misery doth the cut me off.
Commend me to your honourable wife;
Tell her the process of Anthonio's end ;
Say, how I lov'd you ; speak me fair in death :
And when the tale is told, bid her be judge,
Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
Repent not you, that you shall lose your
And he repents not, that he pays your debt ;
For if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
I'll pay it instantly with all


Baj. Anthonio, I am married to a wife,
Which is as dear to me as life it self;
But life it felf, my wife, and all the world,


friend ;

Are not with me esteem'd above thy life,
I would lose all ; ay, facrifice them all
Here to this devil, to deliver you.

Por. Your wife would give you little thanks for that, If she were by to hear you make the offer.

Gra. I have a wife, whom, I protest, I love ; I would, she were in heaven, so the could Intreat fome Pow'r to change this currish Jew.

Ner. 'Tis well, you offer it behind her back ; The wish would make else an unquiet house.

Shy. These be the christian husbands. I've a daughter; 'Would, any of the stock of Barrabas Had been her husband, rather than a chriftian! [-Afide. We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue sentence.

Por. A pound of that same merchant's flesh is thine, The Court awards it, and the law doth give it.

Shy. Most rightful judge ! Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast ; The law allows it, and the Court awards it.

Shy. Most learned judge! a sentence: come, prepare. Por. Tarry a little, there is something else. This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood; The words exprefly are, a pound of flesh. Then take thy bond, take thou thy pound of Aesh ; But, in the cutting it, if thou dost fed. One drop of christian blood ;. thy lands and goods Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate Unto the state of Venice.

Gra. O upright judge! mark, Jew; O learned judge!
Shy. Is that the law ?

Por. Thy self shalt see the Act :
For as thou urgest justice, be affur'd,
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desir'ft.

Gra. O learned judge ! mark, Jew; a learned judge!

Shy. I take this offer then, pay the bond thrice,
And let the christian go.
Bal. Here is the

Por. The Jew shall have all justice ; soft! no haste ;
He shall have nothing but the penalty.
Gra. O Jew! an upright judge, a learned judge!


G 5

Por. Therefore


thee to cut off the flesh; Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou less, nor more, But just a pound of flesh: if thou tak'st more Or less than a just pound, be’t but so much As makes it light or heavy in the substance, On the division of the twentieth part Of one poor scruple; nay, if the scale turn But in the estimation of a hair, Thou dieft, and all thy goods are confiscate.

Gra. A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip.

Por. Why doth the Jew pause? take the forfeiture.
Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go.
Bal. I have it ready for thee; here it is.
Por. He hath refus'd it in the


Court; He fhall have meerly justice, and his bond.

Gra. A Daniel, ftill say I; a second Daniel! I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.

Shy. Shall I not barely have my principal ?

Por. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture, To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.

Shy. Why, then the devil give him good of it! I'll stay no longer question.

Por Tarry, Yew.
The law hath yet another hold on you :
It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
If it be prov'd against an alien,
That by direct, or indirect, attempts
He seeks the life of any citizen,
The party, 'gainst the which he doth contrive,
Shall seize on half his goods'; the other half
Comes to the privy Coffer of the state ;
And the offender's life lies in the

Of the Duke only, 'gainst all other voice :
In which predicament, I say, thou stand'A.
For it appears by manifest proceeding,
That indirectly, and directly too,
Thou hast contriv'd against the


life Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd The danger formerly by me rehears.d.


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